City can’t slow down Ebbsfleet title charge

City put up a strong performance against league leaders Ebbsfleet United this afternoon, including briefly levelling the scores, but couldn’t prevent the Kent side maintaining their sizable lead at the top of the National League South with a 3-1 win at Twerton Park. The Romans cause was not helped by losing three players to injury in the opening 30 minutes. Danny Greenslade, Cody Cooke and new signing Callum Sullivan were all forced from the action and, while Cooke was off the pitch receiving treatment for a facial injury, Ebbsfleet opening the scoring in the 17th minute, Poleon converting Sterling-James’ cross. Despite these setbacks three minutes before the break a great run by Dan Hayfield saw him cross for Sonny Cox to sweep the ball home and level the scores. However, two minutes later luck deserted City again when Domi’s mis-hit shot rebounded off the bar for Poleon to restore Ebbsfleet lead with a neat volley. And two minutes into stoppage time it got even worse for City when an offside looking Bingham rounded Max Harris and netted to make it 3-1. The second period saw the visitors largely content to defend their two-goal advantage but as the half progressed City increasingly looked capable of getting back in the game. Hayfield forced a smart save from Cousins just past the hour mark then Elliott Frear’s cross just evaded Scott Wilson. The final ten minutes saw City go close on several occasions to setting up a tense finale. Jordan Dyer’s looping header was cleared from under his own bar by Solly then Spokes was denied by Cousins with Cox’s goalbound shot from the rebound charged down. Wilson also shot too close to Cousins and Cox’s header from a Chris Lines corner flew narrowly wide, before a final chance saw Dyer’s header blocked by Edser’s arm but the officials missed the infringement to ensure that moments later Ebbsfleet would secure their 22nd win of the season.